Rice football made encouraging progress in 2018 in the first year under Mike Bloomgren. Here are three resolutions for the Owls on the gridiron in 2019.
1. To finish off another strong recruiting class
When asked about his 2018 recruiting class in fall camp head coach Mike Bloomgren said he didn’t think there was a miss in the group. On one hand, that feels a lot like coachspeak, but after seeing the season play out how it did, he might be right.
Rice’s depth chart will be filled with underclassmen again this year, but there’s still plenty of room for impact players at the right positions. The Owls signed 17 players in the early signing period. They still have room for several more before the 2019 class is in the books.
2. To not have to play the backup backup backup backup quarterback
Injuries are a part of every football season, but few seasons play out as unfortunate on the injury front as the Owls’ 2018 campaign. Rice lost Shawn Stankavage and Evan Marshman to injury during the year. Jackson Tyner and Sam Glaesmann were bumped down the depth chart for performance and scheme considerations leaving freshman Wiley Green as the next man up when “next man up” was called against FIU.
Entering 2019, Green and Marshman will battle it out for the starting position. Green is probably the frontrunner at this point, but regardless who takes the first snap of the season, Rice would like to not have to find their next starter working with the scout team at the start of the New Year.
3. To win more games
At risk of stating the obvious, the end goal of this game is to win. Rice tallied two victories in 2018, bookending their season with wins over Prairie View and Old Dominion. Two wins is the new floor for the Owls in 2019 and Mike Bloomgren himself said “we will not put a ceiling on this team at any point… what we will do is talk about how we’re going to work.”
The “process” has been talked about for a full year at South Main. 2019 will be Year 2. It won’t be the finished product by any means, but the wheels have been turning long enough for the results to start flowing and they will. Rice had close calls in games against Houston, Hawaii, North Texas and UTEP, among others. If the Owls play more complete games in 2019 the wins will come.
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